Congrats! If you’re still reading these, you’ve made it through the full 14-Day LiveWell Challenge. We hope you’ve learned some great tips and plan to apply them to your daily life to live well through 2014 and for years to come.
Our final tip comes from the wonderful Chopra Center team. Always remember to practice yogic breathing – here’s why:
Many of us spend most of our time sitting at desks, in cars, or in front of the television in a hunched position that compresses our chest and abdomen, preventing us from breathing deeply and fully. Shallow, restricted breathing can contribute to a variety of health concerns, including anxiety, fatigue, and poor digestion and elimination. Yogic breathing exercises, known as pranayama, can help us experience greater health and wellbeing.
1) Detoxifies the body by increasing the flow of fluids through our bodily tissues, which improves the delivery of nutrients to our cells and promotes the elimination of waste
2) Decreases stress and burnout by stimulating the body’s parasympathetic system and relaxation response while reversing the negative effects of a chronically-overstimulated sympathetic nervous system, including hypertension, insomnia, digestive issues, obesity, and many other health issues
3) Improves our respiratory function and energy levels by increasing oxygen levels in the blood.
There are a variety of pranayama techniques that are easy to learn. By practicing them for just a few minutes each day, you will experience their immediate and long-term healing benefits. Find instructions for the yogic breathing practice known as ujjayi here.
LaCostaLiveWell tip courtesy of Sheila Patel, M.D., Chopra Center Medical Director
Known as the global source for learning meditation, yoga and Ayurveda, the Chopra Center has taught thousands of people the timeless tools and healing principles for nurturing their own health, restoring balance, and creating greater joy and fulfillment in their lives.